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Personal Injury Claims

Guide to taking a Personal Injuries
Claim for Compensation

If you have suffered injury (for example in a public place, at work, or a vehicle accident), through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation.

While it is important to focus on getting the medical treatment needed to make a good and speedy recovery, at the same time, you also need to gather as much information as possible about the accident, as soon as possible.

Information Needed

  • Name, address and insurance details of the other person involved
  • Precise location of the accident, date and time
  • Name and Garda Station of any Gardaí who attended the accident scene
  • Photographs of damaged property and accident location
  • Details of injury and if possible, good photographs
  • Details of Doctors or other Medical professionals (e.g., physiotherapists) that have treated you, to include dates of appointments
  • Receipts for any expenses such as medical consultation charges, medications, travel and parking, replacement items
  • Names and contact details of any witnesses

Why You Need to Contact your Solicitor

We strongly advise you contact your Solicitor as soon as possible after your accident for the following reasons:-

  • There are also critical deadlines you need to know about and meet, in order to pursue a claim.
  • You have only 2 years from the date (of knowledge) of the accident or injury, to make a claim (this is called “the Statute of Limitations”),
  • You are required to notify the other party in writing of your intended claim, within the first month of your injuries occurring.
  • There may be critical information that can be obtained at the start that will be difficult to get at a later stage,
  • You need to correctly identify the person or entity you believe is at fault - sometimes this may not be as straightforward as you may think, and your solicitor may have to investigate this for you.
  • Your solicitor will need as much information as possible relating to your accident and your injuries, and also, details of any previous accidents, injuries, claims, and health/medical history. Medical Records may need to be obtained from various medical professionals, and this can take time.

What if the other Vehicle or Driver is Not Insured?

Where the other person (driver or vehicle owner) who caused the accident does not have proper motor insurance, or, if the vehicle involved cannot be traced, a claim can be submitted to the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) and.

  • Your accident must be reported to the Gardaí within 2 days, (or, as soon as is otherwise reasonably possible).
  • A detailed Claim Form must be submitted to the MIBI, who will name an insurance company to investigate the case.
  • That insurance company will then decide whether or not it will deal with your compensation claim.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) – The Process

PIAB (`Injuries Board’), is an agency established by the State to provide independent assessment of personal injury compensation, without the need to / before you go to Court.

All claims for personal injury (other than Medical Negligence Claims) must be filed with PIAB within 2 years, and again, this deadline is very strictly applied.

Steps Involved:-

  1. We complete and submit a detailed Claim Form to the PIAB, along with their registration fee, and, the Medical Report from your GP or Medical Consultant detailing your injuries, treatments and prognosis.
  2. Once the PIAB receives your Application, they will write to the other person at fault (or their insurer) for agreement to assess your claim for compensation. The other party (known as ‘the Respondent’) has 90 days to decide whether to allow or refuse the PIAB to assess your claim.
  3. If the Respondent refuses to allow PIAB assess your claim, then you may have to commence Court proceedings. We will guide you through this process, and will prepare your case for a barrister to draft the court paperwork.
  4. If, on the other hand, the Respondent agrees to the PIAB assessing your injuries, PIAB will arrange for you to be independently, medically assessed by a doctor from their panel. You will ned to gather all receipts and proof for your out-of-pocket expenses, loss of income, etc.
  5. Once the PIAB has full details of your losses, and their own Medical Report, they will then decide whether to assess your claim and if they do, they will then issue a legal document called ‘an Assessment’, recommending what your injuries are worth in financial compensation terms.
  6. Both you and the Respondent then have to decide whether to accept or reject the Assessment made. If both sides accept the Assessment, the PIAB will issue another legal document called an ’Order to Pay’.  If either side rejects the Assessment, then you may have to to commence court proceedings, and we will advise you about this.

Timeframe & Deadlines - How Long Does the Process Take?

  • You have 2 years from the date of injury to lodge your claim with the PIAB.
  • Once the PIAB notifies the Respondent of your claim, the Respondent has 3 months to decide if they agree to the PIAB carrying out an assessment of your injuries.
  • Once the PIAB confirms it has the Respondent’s consent to proceed with the Assessment, it will usually assess your claim within 6 to 9 months. Delays can occur for a variety of reasons, and in our experience, the process from beginning to end usually takes 1 to 1.5 years, approximately.
  • If at the end of that process, your claim is not assessed, or perhaps you or the other party has rejected the Assessment, then you can continue your case by issuing court proceedings.
  • Court proceedings are often a slow and lengthy process, and can take between 2 and 5 years, and in more complex cases (especially where there are serious injuries that require a long period of treatment and medical review), it can take even longer to reach conclusion.

Of course, at any stage during the entire process, there might be negotiations to try and resolve your case out of court, sooner rather than later.

Your case might also be settled by another process called Mediation, which is where an independent and qualified Mediator mediates an agreement between both sides.

How to Value my Claim – How Much are my Injuries Worth?

There are two parts to assessing likely compensation in a personal injuries claim.  First, there is ‘General Damages’ (for your pain and suffering) and the other is ‘Special Damages’ (for your out-of-pocket expenses, medical expenses and loss of earnings).

In deciding what compensation should be paid for your injuries (i.e. General Damages), PIAB and Courts are guided by the official Personal Injuries Guidelines, which is a legal guide estimating the value ranges for a variety of different types of injuries.  These Guidelines can be viewed and downloaded from the PIAB Website www.piab.ie.

If you want to be reimbursed for your Special Damages, then it is important that you keep a written record of all expenses (dates, amounts, invoices, receipts) from the very outset, so that you can prove them later on.

Contact us here today, to see how we can help you.

What to bring to my first Solicitor's Consultation?

  • Your PPS Number
  • Name, address and insurance details of the other party
  • Location of the accident, date and time
  • Name and Garda Station of any Gardaí who attended the accident scene
  • Details of damaged property and accident location and any photographs
  • List of injury and any photographs
  • List of Doctors or other Medical professionals (e.g., physiotherapists) that have treated you, dates of all appointments
  • List of any previous accidents, injuries, and health circumstances
  • List of Medications
  • Receipts for expenses (e.g., medical consultation charges, medications, travel and parking, replacement items)
  • Names and contact details of any witnesses
  • Recent Payslips, if you are claiming Loss of Earnings

In contentious business, a legal practitioner shall not charge any amount in respect of legal costs expressed as a percentage or proportion of any damages (or other moneys) that may become payable to his or her client or purport to set out the legal costs to be charged to a junior counsel as a specified percentage or proportion of the legal costs paid to a senior counsel. A legal practitioner shall not without the prior written agreement of his or her client deduct or appropriate any amount in respect of legal costs from the amount of any damages or moneys that become payable to the client in respect of legal services that the legal practitioner provided to the client

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